Kenny Markwardt, Head Coach/Owner
OPEX CCP Coach, CSCS, NSCA-CPT, CrossFit Level 2, USAW Sport Performance Coach, FMS-1, Precision Nutrition Level 2
My life in fitness began at age 16. As soon as I could drive I got myself a pass to a traditional gym. I quickly became obsessed, reading everything I could and devoting all of my time to fitness and exercise.
Over time, I grew bored with the monotonous routine of an hour in the gym doing the same old same old. I started hearing about CrossFit in 2008 and at first I thought it was just another fitness fad and didn’t really pay it too much attention. Interestingly enough, it was during this time that I was beginning to incorporate very similar principles into my own workouts. I was utilizing Olympic and compound movements, doing sprints and trying “new” tools like Kettlebells, sandbags and plyometrics.
Finally, at the suggestion of a friend who had similar athletic interests, I took a look at the CrossFit.com mainsite. I started doing CrossFit WODs (workouts of the day) in the gym I was a member at. I gained a ton of functional strength and I started to become more and more obsessed with CrossFit, finding continued success and noticing that I was able to maintain near peak conditioning year-round. I started sharing my workouts with others and training anyone who would listen. Eventually, I got my CrossFit Level 1 and my NSCA-CPT certification in 2012. We started CrossFit Sandpoint soon after, and haven’t looked back since.
CROSSFIT LEVEL 1
Like most people, before they’re introduced to Crossfit and unleash their hidden awesomeness, most of my physical training was pretty traditional. From the high school gym working out with the football crew to clanging and banging in military facilities around the world, my pattern was mostly bodybuilding cycles mixed with periods of inactivity. That all changed when I came across the Crossfit Games playing on TV late one night at a 24-hour gym in Maryland.
Fast forward a few years and I can say with confidence that I’m in the best overall shape of my life… in my late 30’s! Along the way, I fell in love with the Crossfit community and culture. We believe in unleashing human potential and I’m proud to bring that mentality to every Crossfit class as a coach.
CROSSFIT LEVEL 1
I grew up playing a variety of sports from the moment I learned to walk, but after high school I went through long stretches of inactivity due to lack of structure in the traditional gym environment. I received my degree in Natural Resource Sciences from WSU and found that living in a place like North Idaho was only natural. I love spending my summer weekends up at Priest Lake, and taking advantage of all the activities our small town has to offer.
I heard about CrossFit Sandpoint for the first time while working in the kitchen at Spud’s, and was incredibly nervous to attend my first class at the gym knowing how out of shape I was at the time. Looking back at my first year living in Sandpoint, going to my first CrossFit class was one of the best risks I have ever taken.
I never imagined a time when I would find personal value in strength, and what my body is capable of doing, over the numbers on a scale. CrossFit has taught me how to dig deep and overcome difficult challenges inside and outside of the gym.
Today there is nothing better than seeing the look on someone’s face when the smallest girl in room is able to carry the heaviest load.
I love the relationships this sport builds between people that may have absolutely nothing common, and it also allows us to come together daily and support one another.
I am extremely grateful to be a part of this community and look forward to the opportunity to help make a difference in the fitness goals of our members.
CROSSFIT LEVEL 1
I started CrossFit in 2009. I was training for a physical test for a fire department and needed to do 3 pullups...and the test was in 2 weeks. Someone said "you should try CrossFit, you can get strong fast." The next day I went to a local gym in the Seattle area and asked the coach if it was possible, he said he would do his best. 2 weeks later, I not only smoked the physical test, I was 100% hooked on CrossFit.
I have always been an athlete and been involved in team sports and really enjoyed working out in a group. The people involved in CrossFit are always friendly; I talked to more people in the first 2 weeks at CrossFit than I had in the last 2 years in a typical mainstream gym. The accountably, results, and friendly competition was perfect for me.
I believe Crossfit gives you the ability to perform any physical task at anytime. If you stay in shape you don't have to get in shape. I want carry all my groceries in one load, run a 5K, hike with my daughter on my back, and lift my 65lb dog into the truck, and perform all duties needed as a Volunteer Fighter fighter/EMT. After moving from Seattle to Sandpoint in 2013 for the vast outdoor activities this has never been more true. I feel so lucky to be coaching at this wonderful gym and helping people reach goals they did not think possible.
CROSSFIT LEVEL 1 & 2, CROSSFIT KIDS, USAW SPORT PERFORMANCE COACH
After I lost 30 pounds in the first 3 months of CrossFit, I knew I was hooked. My previous fitness background included powerlifting, stand up paddle boarding and snowboarding, but CrossFit took that base and accelerated it to incredible new heights.
I was so impressed with the CrossFit methodology, that I knew I had to put myself in a position to introduce it to others. As a father of three, I feel I have a special connection to the youth of today. My athletic experiences growing up made me realize how invaluable a good coach can be. Coaching the CrossFit Kids program allows me to be that resource for the next generation.
To me, there is no better feeling in the world than when I can see the spark of passion for something new in a young person’s life. Helping kids become their best version of themselves is what fuels me as a coach.